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Publication numberUS3326406 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 20, 1967
Filing dateJun 21, 1965
Priority dateJun 21, 1965
Publication numberUS 3326406 A, US 3326406A, US-A-3326406, US3326406 A, US3326406A
InventorsBrown Omar L
Original AssigneeDayton Reliable Tool & Mfg Com
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Easy opening can end
US 3326406 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 20, 1967 o. l.. BROWN 3,326,406

EASY OPENING CAN END Filed June 2l, 1965 Y. 2 Sheets-Sheet l 25 Z 26 -'I:--... Z A

INVENTOR.

Omar l. fawn June 20, 1967 o. L BROWN EASY OPENING CAN END 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 2l, 1965 Patented June 20, 1967 3,326,406 EASY OPENING CAN END Omar L. Brown, Dayton, Ohio, assignor to Dayton Reliable Tool 8: Mfg. Company, Dayton, Ohio, a corporation of hio Filed June 21, 1965, Ser. No. 465,663 Claims. (Cl. 220-54) This invention relates to an easy opening can of the general type in which a sheet metal wall of the can s scored to form a tear portion and a tab is attached to the tear portion to facilitate severance of the sheet metal around the tear portion for opening the can.

In the prevailing type of such a can for containing a beverage, manual separtion of the tab completely severs the tear portion from the can and the separated tear portion with the tab attached thereto is discarded as soon as the can is opened. The can is also subsequently discarded when it is empty. Usually the empty cans and the separated tear portions are promptly gathered up for appropriate disposal, but because the separated tear portions are of small size they are often ignored or overlooked. Consequently the small separated tear portions with the tabs attached thereto are found in increasing numbers in various places and especially at picnic spots and at beaches.

The separated tear portions create a special problem at sandy beaches because conventional devices for picking up beach litter do not pick up separated tear portions. As a consequence, the separated tear portions accumulate with the passage of time. For this reason ordinances have been enacted to bar self-opening containers from some beach communities.

The present invention meets this problem by providing an easy opening can in which the tear portion is only partially severed and therefore remains attac-hed to the can after the can is opened. Since a severed edge of a tear portion is sharp and usually jagged, this concept of keeping the tear portion attached to the can may create a hazard for the user. A feature of the invention in this respect, however, is complete elimination of this hazard by swinging7 the severed portion. into the interior of the can so that the can itself serves as a guard against injury to the user by the tear portion.

A further feature of the invention relates to the effort involved in opening such a can and the tendency for a portion of the beverage to be spilled because of the effort. Thus in the usual can-opening operation, the force that severs the tear portion is exerted between the tear portion on the one hand and the can, on the other hand, the user gripping the can in a secure manner while pulling the tab to sever the tear portion. Naturally the sudden yielding of the tear portion results in a reaction on the can, the can being jerked in a manner to slosh out part of the confined liquid.

In the :preferred practice of the invention the jerking of the can in response to the opening operation is minimized if not completely avoided by providing two tear portions side by side with two corresponding tabs whereby the force involved in rupturing the metal of the can is exerted between two tabs intsead of being exerted between a tab and the can. Thus with the two tabs swung towards each other simultaneously by finger pressure, the severing forces are balanced, the finger pressure against one tab being cancelled by the linger pressure against the other tab.

Since the opening operation results in the two tear portions being swung into the interior of the can, the handle ends of the two tabs extend outward from the can wall at the end of the opening operation. Preferably some provision is made to position the protruding handle ends out of the way of a person who drinks the beverage directly from the can. In one practice of the invention the two tabs are positioned off center of the tear portions for this purpose. In another practice of the invention the two tabs are attached to the two tear portions in diverging positions. In still another practice of the invention the two tabs are mounter off-center with respect to the two corresponding tear portions but are formed with offsets to act centrally on the two tear portions. A further feature of the invention, moreover, is the concept of pivotally attaching the two tabs to the two corresponding tear portions so that the user may swing the two tabs out of the way immediately after the can is opened.

The features and advantages of the invention may be understood from the following description and the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings, which are to be regarded as merely illustrative FIG. 1 is a plan View of a can top incorporating one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary section'taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary section taken along the line 3 3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view showing how the two tabs may be manipulated by the thumb and forefinger of a user;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing how the two tabs of the first embodiment of the invention may be swung pivotally out of the way after the can is opened to pla-ce the tabs out of the way in the event the user chooses to drink the beverage directly from the can;

FIG. 6 is a plan View of a second embodiment of the invention; and i FIG. 7 is a plan view of a third embodiment of the lnvention.

In the first embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. l to 4, a can top 10 of sheet metal is formed with the usual peripheral flange 12 for joining the can top to a cylindrical can body 13 shown in FIG. 5. The can top has lines of scoring forming two tear portions which tear portions preferably :are in the form of two rectangular panels 14. The lines of scoring include .a single line 15 which is common .to both panels and forms the inner longitudinal edges of both panels. The lines of scoring further includes two lines 16 which may be termed hinge lines and define the opposite or outer edges of the two panels 14. In addition lthe lines of scoring include two other lines 18 which define the opposite ends of the two panels 14.

Preferably the scoring is of maximum depth to leave a residual web of minimum thickness along the central score line 15; the scoring is of lesser depth along the two end lines 118; and the scoring is relatively shallow along the two hinge lines 16. For example, if Ithe can top is made of an aluminum alloy of `a nominal thickness of .015 inch, the scoring along the central line 1S may leave a residual or rupturable web 19 (FIG. 3) of approximately .003 inch thickness; the scoring along the two end lines 18 may leave a residual web of lapproximately .006 inch thick; and the scoring along the two hinge lines 16 may leave a thicker residual or bendable web of approximately .010 inch thickness.

Two tabs 20 are attached to the two panels 14, respectively, in `a manner to facilitate the operation of swinging the two panels inwardly about the two hinge lines 16. For this purpose the two tabs -20 are rigidly iixed facewise -to the two respective panels and the two tabs extend in opposite directions laterally outward from the two panels.

It is to be understood tha-t the two tabs 20 may be rigidly attached to the -two panels 14 in any suitable manne-r. In this parti-cular embodiment of the invention, however, each of the two panels 14 is formed with a hollow rivet 22 which, as shown in FIG. 4, extends through an aperture 24 in the corresponding tab, lthe hollow rivet being formed with a head or bead 25 in overlapping engagement with the rim of th'e aperture.

It is essential that the two tabs 20 be of sufcient streng-th and rigidity to swing the two panels 14 inwardly to cause severance of the sheet metal along lthe score lines 15 and 18. In the construction shown, each of the tabs 20 is made of suitable sheet metal and is adequately stilfened by being formed with an outwardly offset marginal bead 26 which is continuous and extends around the whole periphery of the tab. The continuous bead 26 is attened at the handle portion as indicated at 30 in FIG. 4 and the rest of the bead is of hollow rolled conguration as shown. As clearly shown in FIGS. l and 2, the tab 20 exten-ds outwardly from the rivet .22 across the score line 16 and the trailing or opposite end of the -tab 20 lies closely adjacent the score line 15.

`In the preferred practice of `the invention, the sheet metal of the can top is otfset inwardly to form a shallow recess, the shallow recess being dened by a continuous shoulder 32 which conforms to the general outline of the two panels 14 and the two tabs 20. It is apparent that the provision of the recess desirably decreases the extent -to which the two tabs 20 protrude above the plane of the can top 10.

When ythe describe-d can top 10 is incorporated in the construction of a can containing a beverage, the two tabs 20 do not extend above the chime or rim of the can and therefore such cans may be stacked in the usual manner. To open such a can it is merely necessary to lift the two -tabs 20 slightly by their outer handle ends and then engage the two tabs by a thumb and forenger respectively to swing the handle ends of the two tabs upwardly towards ea-ch other as shown in FIG. 4. The forces exerted by the two ltabs readily sever the sheet metal along the line and along the lines 18 to permit the two panels to bend along the hinge lines 16 and thus swing inwardly like a pair of doors.

When the can is opened in this manner, the handle ends of the two tabs extend outwardly from the plane of the can top in`the general manner shown in FIG. 5 and it is desirable to make some provision for keeping the protruding tabs from interfering with the user drinking the beverage directly from the can. In this rst embodiment of the invention, the opening that is formed by the inward swinging of the two panels 14 is an elongated opening that extends close to one side of the can and the two tabs are positioned somewhat off-center of the two panels towards the opposite side of the can to be out of the way. A feature of the invention in this 'regard is that the two tabs may be pivotally mounted on the ltwo hollow rivets 22 in such manner that the two tabs may be rotated about the rivets to get them even further ou-t of the way after the can is opened. iFIG. 5 shows the positions of the tabs after they have been rotated out of the way in this manner.

The second embodiment of the `invention shown in FIG. 6 is largely similar to the rst embodiment as indicated by the use of corresponding numerals to indicate corresponding parts. Thus the can top 10a is scored in the same manner and in the same manner is offset to form -a wide shallow recess defined by a continuous shoulder 32a. The second embodiment differs from the first embodiment solely in each of the two tabs a being formed with a lateral extension 34 at its inner end which extension reaches to approximately the point on each panel that is midway of the length of the panel. Thus each of the tabs 20a is effective to exert force against the corresponding panel 14 at a point that is offset substantially from the longitudinal axis of the tab. This tab configuration makes it possible to shift the two tabs even further towards the center of the can away from the edge of the can to get the tabs out of the wuy of a user who chooses to drink the beverage directly from the can.

FIG. 7 shows a third embodiment of the invention which is largely like the two other embodiments .as indicate-d by the use of corresponding numerals to indicate corresponding parts. This embodiment differs from the other two embodiments in that the two tabs 20 of the previously described construction are both inclined to positions to be out of the way, a corresponding change being made in the plan configuration of the shallow recess defined by the continuous shoulder 32h. Thus when the can top shown in FIG. 7 is opened it has the same appearance as the can top shown in FIG. 5 but it is not necessary to rotate the two t-abs out of the way, the tabs being already inclined out of the way.

My description in specific detail of the selected embodiments of the invention will suggest various changes, substitutions and other departures from my disclosure within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

,1. In an easy opening container having a wall of sheet material, the combination of:

lines of scoring reducing the thickness of the sheet material to a residual web along the score lines, said score lines defining two panels side by side,

said lines of scoring including two scored hinge lines dening the outer sides of the two panels; and two tabs attached to the two panels, respectively, said tabs :having handle ends directed in opposite directions laterally outwardly of the two panels,

whereby swinging the two handle ends of the two tabs towards each other swings the two panels inwardly into the interior of the container by bending of the sheet metal along the residual webs at said two scored hinge lines and by severing the sheet metal along the other lines of scoring to open the container without separation of the two panels and the corresponding tabs from the container.

2. A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said wall is a can top in which ends of the two panels extend close to one edge of the can top and the two tabs are attached to the' two panels at points that are spaced from the centers of the panels towards the opposite ends of the panels.

3. A combination as set forth in claim 2 in which said wall is a can top in which each of the tabs is formed with a lateral extension at its inner end, said lateral extension reaching towards the center of the corresponding panel.

4. In an easy opening container having a wall of sheet material, the combination of:

lines of scoring reducing the thickness of the sheet material to a residual web along the lines, said lines of scoring defining two panels side by side with one line of scoring common to both panels and dening the inner sides of the two panels, said lines of scoring including two lines of scoring defining the outer sides of .the two panels, other lines of scoring defining the opposite ends of the two panels; and

two rigid tabs attached to the two panels, respectively,

said tabs having handle ends directed in opposite directions laterally outwardly of the two panels,

whereby swinging the two handle ends of the two tabs towards each other severs the sheet material along said one line and along said other lines and swings the two panels inwardly into the interior of the container by bending of the sheet material along said two lines of scoring to produce a single opening in the sheet material of substantially the combined area of the two panels without separation of the panels and tabs from the container.

5. A combination as set forth in claim 4 in which said wall of sheet material is a can top;

in which the opening formed by swinging the two panels inwardly extends close to one edge of the can top; and

in which the two tabs are inclined away from said edge of the can top.

6. A combination as set forth in claim 4 in which the two tabs are pivotally mounted on the two panels to permit the two tabs to be swung out of the way.

7. In an easy opening container having a wall of sheet material, the combination of:

lines of scoring reducing the thickness of the sheet material to a residual web along the lines, said lines of scoring defining two panels side by side with one line of scoring common to both panels and defining the inner sides of the two panels, said lines of scoring including two lines of scoring defining the outer sides lof the two panels, other lines of scoring defining the opposite ends of the two panels; and

two rigid tabs attached to the two panels, respectively, said tabs having handle ends directed in opposite directions laterally outwardly of the two panels,

whereby swinging the two handle ends of the two tabs towards each other severs the sheet material along said one line and along said other lines and swings the two panels inwardly into the interior of the container by bending of the sheet material along said two lines of scoring to produce a single opening in the sheet material of substantially the combined area of the two panels without separation of the panels and tabs from the container,

the residual web of sheet material left by the scoring along said two lines of scoring being thicker than the residual web along the remaining lines of scoring.

8. A combination as set forth in claim 7 in which:

the residual web is of minimum thickness along said one line of scoring,

the residual web along said two lines of scoring is of maximum thickness, and

the residual web along said other lines of scoring is of intermediate thickness.

9. In an easy opening container having a wall of sheet material, wherein scoring reduces the thickness of the sheet material to a residual web along a line defining a tear portion of the wall, the tear portion having a leading edge and an opposite edge, and a tab is attached to the tear portion for manual operation thereof, the improvement comprising:

the residual web being relatively thick along said opposite edge of the sheet material to facilitate bending of the sheet material without rupture of the sheet material, the residual web being thinner along the remaining edges to facilitate rupture of the sheet material,

whereby manipulation of the tab severs the sheet material along said remaining edges and swings the tear portion inward into the interior of the container by bending of the sheet material along said opposite edge to form an opening in the container without separation of the tear portion and tab from the container.

10. An improvement as set forth in claim 9 in which the tear portion is formed with a hollow rivet therein in engagement with the tab, which hollow rivet stiifens the tear portion to facilitate severance of the sheet material in response to manipulation of the tab.

11. An improvement as set forth in claim 9 in which:

the tab is made of sheet metal; and

in which the tab is formed with a continuous peripheral stiffening bead that encloses the hollow rivet.

12. In an easy opening container, the combination of:

a container wall;

a first scoring line in said container wall defining a rupturable web;

a second scoring line in said container wall defining a hendable web, said second scoring line being spaced along at least a portion of its length from said first scoring line, the area of said container wall between said scoring lines defining a Wall segment;

a tab having a handle portion adjacent one end and a trailing end at the other end thereof; and

means for rigidly securing said tab adjacent said trailing end thereof to said wall segment to permit said tab to cause rupturing of said rupturable web, movement of said handle portion of said tab away from said container wall causing inward bending of at least a portion of said wall segment about said bendable web and rupturing of said rupturable web to thereby force said portion of said wall segment inwardly.

13. A combination as defined in claim 12 wherein said rupturable web is thinner than said bendable web.

14. A combination as defined in claim 12 wherein said handle portion of said tab extends from said wall segment across said bendable web and said trailing end lies closely adjacent said rupturable web.

15. In an easy opening container, the combination of:

a container wall;

score line means substantially completely enclosing an area of said container wall to define a wall segment of the container wall;

said score line means defining a rupturable web along at least a portion of one edge of said wall segment;

said score line means defining .a bendable web along at least a portion of an opposed edge of said wall segment so that said webs are generally opposed, said bendable web being thicker than said rupturable web;

`a tab having a handle portion adjacent one end and a trailing end at the other end thereof; and

means for rigidly securing said tab adjacent said trailing end thereof to said wall segment intermediate said webs with said trailing end lying closely adjacent said rupturable web, said tab extending from said wall segment across said bendable web so that at least a section of said handle portion lies outside the area of said wall segment whereby movement of said handle portion of said tab away from said container wall causes inward bending of at least a portion of said wall segment about said bendable web `and rupturing of said rupturable web to thereby force said portion of said wall segment inwardly.

No references cited.

'IHERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.

G. T. HA'LL, Assistant Examiner.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.

CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 ,326 ,406 June 20 1967 Omar L. Brown It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.

In the heading to the printed specification, lines 3 to 5, for "assignor to Dayton Reliable Tool G Mfg. Company, Dayton, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio" read assgnor, by mesne assignments, to Ermal C. Fraze, Dayton, Ohio Signed and sealed this 24th day of December 1968.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD J. BRENNER Edward M. Fletcher, Jr.

Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3428211 *Oct 24, 1966Feb 18, 1969Crown Cork & Seal CoContainer closure having pull-tab opening means
US3446389 *Oct 13, 1967May 27, 1969Fraze Ermal CEasy-opening can end with nonremovable tab
US3653535 *Nov 20, 1970Apr 4, 1972Envir O Tab IncRetainable tear-away tab for container
US4183442 *Oct 24, 1966Jan 15, 1980Crown, Cork & Seal Company, Inc.Container closure having pull-tab opening means
US4257529 *Apr 12, 1979Mar 24, 1981National Steel CorporationEasy-open retained tab structure for beverage can
US4289251 *May 9, 1980Sep 15, 1981The Continental Group, Inc.Non-detach easy opening container unit
US5397014 *Dec 22, 1993Mar 14, 1995Aydt; RobertDual aperture retained tab
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US8567158Aug 6, 2010Oct 29, 2013Ball CorporationContainer end closure with optional secondary vent opening
US9139343Dec 21, 2012Sep 22, 2015Anheuser-Busch Inbev S.A.Can comprising a first, dispense opening and second, vent opening
US9181006Dec 21, 2012Nov 10, 2015Anheuser-Busch Inbev S.A.Can comprising a maxi-dispense opening and a vent opening
US9233784Nov 2, 2012Jan 12, 2016Ball CorporationVented metallic container end closure
US9446879Oct 29, 2013Sep 20, 2016Ball CorporationContainer end closure with optional secondary vent opening
US9694935Mar 5, 2014Jul 4, 2017Ball CorporationEnd closure with a ring pull actuated secondary vent
US9714115Jul 29, 2015Jul 25, 2017Ball CorporationVented container end closure
USD691039Oct 27, 2011Oct 8, 2013Ball CorporationVented container end closure
USD715144Nov 13, 2012Oct 14, 2014Ball CorporationVented container end closure
USD715647Nov 28, 2012Oct 21, 2014Ball CorporationVented end closure
USD727725Aug 21, 2013Apr 28, 2015Ball CorporationVented container end closure
USD749415Sep 11, 2014Feb 16, 2016Ball CorporationContainer end closure
USD750488Sep 11, 2014Mar 1, 2016Ball CorporationEnd closure
USD762114Mar 5, 2015Jul 26, 2016Ball CorporationVented container end closure
DE3941239C1 *Dec 14, 1989Jun 27, 1991Schmalbach-Lubeca Ag, 3300 Braunschweig, DeTitle not available
EP2612821A1Jan 3, 2012Jul 10, 2013Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A.Can comprising a first, dispense opening and second, vent opening
EP2612822A1Jan 3, 2012Jul 10, 2013Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A.Can comprising a first, dispense opening and second, vent opening and a single pull tab
EP2612823A1Jan 3, 2012Jul 10, 2013Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A.Can comprising a maxi-dispense opening and a vent opening
WO2009153827A1 *Jun 19, 2009Dec 23, 2009Francesco BaldiniContainer with easy opening
WO2013102594A1Dec 21, 2012Jul 11, 2013Anheuser-Busch Inbev S.A.Can comprising a maxi-dispense opening and a vent opening
WO2013102595A1Dec 21, 2012Jul 11, 2013Anheuser-Busch Inbev S.A.Can comprising a first, dispense opening and second, vent opening and a single pull tab
WO2013124019A2Dec 21, 2012Aug 29, 2013Anheuser-Busch Inbev S.A.Can comprising a first, dispense opening and second, vent opening
WO2013124019A3 *Dec 21, 2012Oct 17, 2013Anheuser-Busch Inbev S.A.Can comprising a first, dispense opening and second, vent opening
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/269
International ClassificationB65D17/28, B65D17/32
Cooperative ClassificationB65D17/165
European ClassificationB65D17/16B2